As an industrial specialist for years, it’s really great to see that warehouses are now the darling of the investment world. This sea change in investment strategy was born out of the online retail shopping boom, fostered in large part by Amazon.com. Investors were quick to notice that in-store shopping for nearly all items— clothing, shoes, electronics, office supplies, food— has been shifted to the online platforms offered by nearly all of the brick and mortar retailers. You can buy nearly everything on line and have it delivered to your doorstep within days, if not hours. Thus, large industrial properties are being built, several hundred thousand square feet and more, and being pre- leased by national distribution/transportation firms at solid rates with solid terms.
What becomes of the brick and mortar retail? It looks like the big box movement is over and that the future of anchored malls will be redefined. The new sweetheart of the retail market is the local strip center. These centers offer shoppers a buying experience that cannot be replicated easily by on line shopping. Think services—haircuts, coffee shops/home offices, shipping options, health centers- that now populate local and regional shopping centers. Add to that restaurants, bars, specialty retail like boutiques and you can understand why these centers ought to remain well-leased.
Here is an article that does a great job of describing the trend: https://goo.gl/kbTnC1.